One of the biggest problems I have had over the years of being ill is knowing exactly what is my MS, one of my many other conditions, age or a bug. I have always felt that it is all too easy to write everything off as my MS as so many doctors do. Until the last couple of years the bug has been an easy one to sort out from the crowed as well, bugs normally bring a temperature increase with them. I am now in my 50’s and I know there is a high chance of me being in the menopause, but I have no way of knowing. When I was 25 I had a hysterectomy so with no periods to give me a guide when I seem to be running a temperature I can’t be sure that it isn’t just a hot flush, rather than the type of temperature peaks you would get with the flue. I think like many women the menopause has always been this mystical thing way in the future, so learning about it seem somewhat unimportant on the scale of things, but it has turned into something that I now worry about, not a major right out scared to death worry, just a niggle there in my mind. So many things upset MS and I can’t help thinking that if I am one of the unlucky ones to react badly to it, will I then also have to deal with all my symptoms being heightened as well. I have never come across anything about the effect of hormones on autoimmune conditions, that could be because there is nothing to worry about, or like so many other black holes of information, no one has bothered to look at it.
Like everything else I guess I will be the one doing the discovery of what it means to my life with little to no guidance of what to look for. I have thought of sitting making a spreadsheet with all my conditions down one side and all the symptoms, if I can find all of them across the top. I already know that there are many cross overs but each condition also has unique things as well. The purpose of it would be to try and work out what is happening and which condition is dominant at the time. You may note I said thought about, I doubt that I would really learn a great deal but what it might help with is this type of problem, is it an as yet undiagnosed addition. I don’t know how other people deal with the what is happening now situations. New symptoms appearing, or even old ones returning are always hard spots to sort out in my mind. I always want to know what is happening, just as I threw all my self diagnosed possibilities at the doctors I have seen recently, I often find myself trying to understand what I guess is often none understandably, knowing why doesn’t make it any better, I guess that is just the way my brain works.
Finding the right line to navigate illness can be really difficult, if you don’t have any illness, it is easy to know when something is wrong. For example, as a women we are told to check our breast for lumps and pain not just in our breast but in the surrounding area. I get pain in the surrounding areas frequently, as part of the wonderful MS hug, but if it was cancer how would I know. An extreme example but one I think graphically describes the type of problems long term conditions hold. Now I could pester the hell out of my GP about all these things, but I am now deeply regretting having asked for help last April. If I had just got on with things I would be sat here now in exactly the same position, they have done nothing to help me at all. In fact the hospital visits made things worse, so what do you do for the best?